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Colonoscopy and endoscopy

Video: Endoscopic Procedures

Learn about how a colonoscopy or endoscopy may help in diagnosing cancer.
View transcript

Dr. Leon Yoder: Endoscopic procedures are relatively non-invasive. There’s still some invasion involved with that because you’re put to sleep with those and we do biopsies through those endoscopes. So, it is somewhat an invasive procedure, but it’s a safe procedure that can be done as an outpatient, and usually the procedures last anywhere from 15 minutes to maybe one hour. And with those procedures we’re able to look at the entire upper gastrointestinal track down to the first part of the small intestine. And then we can look on the other side with the colon, check the rectum and all of the colon where it hooks up with the small intestine.

If there is any problem such as the colon where there’s polyps involved we can take the polyps out. So gastroenterologists for the past 10-15 years have been doing surveillance colonoscopies and screening colonoscopies to take out polyps which are forewarners, or their precursors, of colon cancer, and actually colon cancer has improved, now based on the rate, since these screening colonoscopies have been preformed.

Endoscopies are used to check for problems in the upper gastrointestinal tract, whereas colonoscopies are used to check the colon. Listen to Dr. Yoder explain the benefits of using these procedures.

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